Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F112 - Can the lou'd Image of thy deerest face

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Can the lou'd Image of thy deerest face,
    ſoe miroir like preſent thee to my ſight
    yett Cristalls coldenes gaine loues ſweetest place
    When warmth wth ſight hath euer equall might

You ſay t'is butt the picture of true light
    wherof my hart is made the ſafest caſe
    faithfully keeping that rich pourtraits right
    from change or thought yt relique to displace,

My brest doth nourish itt, and wth itt liues
    as oyle to Lamps theyr lasting beeing giues
    each looke alures a wish of meeting ioye;

Iff butt a picture, then restore wth eaſe
    the lyfe peece of my ſoule, and lett itt ſeaze
    this chillnes into heate, and barrs destroy;

Sonnet 12 ('Can the loved image')

Can the loved image of thy dearest face,
    So mirror-like, present thee to my sight,
    Yet crystal's coldness gain love's sweetest place
    When warmth with sight hath ever equal might.

You say 'tis but the picture of true light
    Whereof my heart is made the safest case,
    Faithfully keeping that rich portrait's right
    From change or thought that relic to displace.

My breast doth nourish it, and with it lives
    As oil to lamps their lasting being gives,
    Each look allures a wish of meeting joy.

If but a picture, then restore with ease
    The life-piece of my soul, and let it seize
    This chillness into heat, and bars destroy.

This sonnet is only present in the manuscript. The subtle play between image/picture and original is impressive and it is puzzling as to why Wroth would not have included it in the published sequence or within Urania.

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